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Mutat Res. 1979 Jun;67(2):133-44.

Action of nitrofurans on E. coli: mutation and induction and repair of daughter-strand gaps in DNA.


The antibacterial and mutagenic potency of 9 nitrofurans in "treat and plate" experiments varied over almost 5 orders of magnitude. The relative toxicities were as follows: FANFT greater than AF2 greater than ANFT greather than furazolidone greater than furagin greater than nitrofurantoin greater than nitrofurazone greater than methylnitrofuroate greater than nitrofuroic acid. In general, mutagenic activity paralleled toxicity. The compounds at concentrations corresponding to their LD50's, induced mutations at frequencies which ranged from 2.5/10(6) survivors for FANFT to 130/10(6) survivors for furagin (NF416). The observed differences in antibacterial and mutagenic activity are unlikely to be due to lack of activation of the weaker agents since the two most potent agents were reduced somewhat more slowly than many of the less active agents. The relative sensitivities to the antibacterial effects of AF2 of strains WP2, WP2 uvrA, CM561 (lexA) and CM571 (recA) were 1 : 1.6 : 3 : 7 and to nitrofurazone 1 : 1 : 25 : 50. The wvrA strain was 6--7-fold more mutable with both these agents than was WP2. No increase over the spontaneous mutation frequency was observed when recA or lexA strains were exposed to either AF2 or nitrofurazone in these experiments. When wild-type of wvrA bacteria containing nitrofuran-induced lesions replicated their DNA in drug-free medium in the presence of [3H]thymidine for 5 min, the label was found in low molecular weight DNA indicating that daughter-strand gaps were formed. During subsequent incubation in nonradioactive medium the molecular weight of the DNA increased to the control value. A recA strain (which was very sensitive to the lethal effects of AF2 and nitrofurazone) lacked the ability to repair daughter-strand gaps caused by nitrofuran-induced lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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